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(by Willian Saroyan)

About the Author :

Oscar Winner and Pulitzer Prize, recipient William Saroyan, who gained world fame with his classic book “the Daring young man on the Flying Trapeze”(1934), was born in California. With his unmistakably American literary works deeply rooted in his Arminius heritage William Saroyan soon established himself as one of the preeminent short story writers, playwrights and Novelists in the United States.


This story is about two boys and a white horse in a village in San Joaquin Valley, California one summer. Aram is nine and Mourad is thirteen. They belong to the Garoghlanian tribe which is known for its honesty. The two boys are extremely fond of riding, but they and their tribe are very poor.
One day Mourad comes to Aram’s house on a white horse and invites him to ride. Aram knows that the horse is stolen, but cannot resist the chance to ride. Mourad keeps the horse in a deserted barn and takes good care of it. He is able to discipline the horse because he has a way with horses.

A month passes, then John Byro, the owner of the horse, visits the family and speaks about the loss of his horse. The boys decide to keep the horse with them for some more time.

After two weeks, John Byro meets the boys walking with the horse. He says it is exactly like his own horse. He also says if their family did not have such formidable reputation for honesty, he would think it was his horse. He does not accuse the boys of stealing his horse.

The next morning the boys take the horse to John Byro’s vineyard and leave it in his barn.


  1. Aram and Mourad were cousins. They were two poor Armenian boys.

  2. They belonged to the Garoghlanian tribe.

  3. Their tribe was poverty stricken.

  4. The Garoghlanian family was famous for its honesty and integrity.

  5. One day Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse.

  6. No member of the family could buy a horse. Hence, it must have been stolen.

  7. Mourad had stolen the horse. He had come to invite the narrator to ride.

  8. The narrator justified stealing the horse. Stealing for a ride was not the same thing as stealing it for money.

  9. The horse was hidden in the bar n of a deserted vineyard.

  10. Mourad had a good understanding with a horse while the narrator had none.

  11. One day a farmer named John Byro came to uncle Khosrove’s house.

  12. John Byro told him that his white horse had been stolen.

  13. One morning Aram and Mourad met John Byro quite accidentally. He was on his way to town.

  14. John Byro studied the horse eagerly and declared that it was so much like his horse.

  15. John Byro never believed that any member of the Garoghlanian family could ever steal a horse.

  16. He thought that their horse was the twin of his horse.

  17. Early the following morning, they took the horse to John Byro’s house. They put it back in the barn.

  18. Next morning, Byro got his stolen horse back.







How did uncle Khosrove react when John Byro told him that his horse had been stolen ?

John Byro told uncle Khosrove that someone had stolen his white horse. He couldn’t find it anywhere. Uncle Khosrove became very irritated. He shouted as usual. “It is no harm. What is the loss of a horse?” He shouldn’t pay any attention to it.

How did John Byro react when he saw his white horse with Mourad and Aram ?

One day John Byro was on his way to the town. He saw Aram and Mourad with his stolen horse. He studied the horse carefully and looked into his mouth. Tooth for tooth it was same horse. He asked its name. Mourad replied : “My Heart”. John Byro could never imagine that they could steal his horse. He convinced himself that perhaps the horse was the twin of his own horse.

Why did narrator believe that stealing a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing ?

The narrator tried to justify the action of his cousin. Mourad did not steal the horse in real sense. Stealing a horse for a ride was not equivalent to stealing it for money. It wouldn’t become stealing until they offered to sell the horse for money.



Who had the crazy streak in family and who was the natural descendant of that streak in the tribe ?

Aram’s cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of the crazy streak in the tribe. He had a passion and craze for horses and riding. Before him was his Uncle Khosrove. He was a man of very furious temper. He could stop anybody from talking by his roaring.




Compare and contrast the two cousins Aram and Mourad.

‘The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse” is the story of two poor Armenian boys. They are Aram and Mourad, They are cousins. They belong to the same tribe. The family of Garoghlanian is known for its integrity and honesty. Aram is a foil to Mourad. He is calm and quiet. He suffers from a feeling of nostalgia. He remembers the good old days when he was nine. The world is full of romance and magnificence for him. It is delightful and dreamy. On the other hand, his cousin Mourad is considered to be crazy by everybody except by him.

Both the cousins shared a common heritage. They were living in most amazing poverty. They didn’t have even money enough to buy their food. But the family was famous for its integrity and honesty. It was unimaginable that anyone of them could ever be a thief.

Mourad had a crazy streak in him. He was considered to be the natural descendant of the crazy streak in the family. Before him uncle Khosrove held that position. Aram was not dashing and dynamic like Mourad. But both of them had a passion for riding. Only difference was that Mourad had a wonderful understanding with a horse. Even horses understood him. Aram was rather a bad rider. Every time he rode alone, the horse threw him down.

Mourad was more daring. He stole a beautiful white horse for riding. Aram understood his cousin well. He could make a compromise and justify the stealing of horse. After all, stealing the horse for riding was not the same as stealing. Mourad and Aram were conscience stricken. In the end, they returned the stolen horse to its true owner.


‘I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than anyone else who had ever fallen into the world by mistake’. Explain the statement with help of instances from the story.

Value points :

  • Mourad’s nature

  • His crazy deeds

  • Having a way with the things

  • Considerate towards animals

  • A true member of the tribe.



Write a brief note on the Garoghlanian tribe.

Value Points :

  • The traits of the tribe

  • Economic Condition

  • The members of the tribe

  • Its uniqueness

Questions for Practice

  • Long Questions






Does the social atmosphere described in the story differ from your social atmosphere ? How ?

What are the moral lessons that story puts forward ?

Compare and contrast the characters of Aram and Mourad.

What picture of rural life does the story paint.

Describe Aram’s horse riding lesson.

  • Short Questions






How does Mourad have a way with the dogs?

How does Mourad have a way with farmers ?

Even when Aram knew that Mourad was sitting on the back of horse that morning, he could not believe his eyes. Why ?

Does Uncle Khusrove resemble Mourad in any way ?

Bring out the frustrations in farmer John Byro after losing his horse.

Valued Based Question

At times we are tempted to take up any activity viz reading swimming, horse riding etc. to purchase such an act we are ready to even steal. How far do you Justify stealing to fulfill your desire ?



The Address’ is a poignant short story of a daughter who goes in search of her mother’s belongings after the war in Holland .Mrs.Dorling , her mother’s acquaintance refuses to recognize her .She decides to leave them all behind and resolves to forget the address.


‘The Address’ describes human predicament and constraints that follow war. The war proves to be a personal disaster for the narrator .

Mrs. Dorling is some acquaintance of Mrs. S , the mother of the narrator . She exploits Mrs. S ‘s fear of the war. She herself insists that Mrs. S should hand over all her ‘nice things’ to her. They will remain intact in her hands .She is crafty ,cunning and ill mannered lady.

All her costly silver cutlery ,antique plates and vases were taken away by Mrs. Dorling .One day the narrator went to number 46, Marconi Street in search of the belongings of her dead mother.

Mrs. Dorling refused to recognize her .She regretted that she could do nothing for her. The woman was wearing her mother’s green knitted cardigan .She could not believe in her .

During her second visit to Mrs. Dorling , the narrator found all those valuable things , she could see silver knives ,spoons, forks ,tea pot and big vases.

The narrator was pained that all those nice things of her mother lay in a ‘tasteless manner’ .They arouse nostalgic feelings in her .

Then suddenly the narrator jumped up . It was the time for her train . She came out of the house and looked up the name plate , the address was correct : 46, Marconi Street.

Mrs. Dorling proved ungrateful .So she resolved to forget address and their ‘ nice things’ had gone now forever.


Q1. Describe the first meeting of the narrator with Mrs. Dorling at 46 , Marconi Street .

Ans. Went to Mrs. Dorling to collect all valuable things of her dead mother---- startled to see the narrator and refused to recognize her----wore her mother’s green knitted cardigan ---- proved that she was at right address ---- not happy to find her and not ready to talk about ‘nice things’

Q2. Why does the narrator want to go to 46 , Marconi Street ?

Ans. Goes to 46, Marconi Street in search of her mother’s belongings ---- recover them from Mrs. Dorling ---- her mother mentions the address of Mrs. Dorling who keeps her valuable articles in her custody----wish to collect ‘nice things’.

Q3. How did the narrator realize that she had rung the wrong bell? How was she assured that she was the right place?

Ans. Rang the bell and a woman appeared, looking at her searchingly---- refused to recognize her and felt that rang the wrong bell ---- soon recognized green knitted cardigan of her mother----assured at the right place.

Q4. Who is Mrs. Dorling? Why did she visit Mrs. S’s house frequently?

Ans. Mrs. Dorling , a neighbor of Mrs. S ,used to visit them often .She insists that Mrs. S should hand over all ‘nice things’ to her . They will remain safe even if they have to leave the place during the war. She carried away bags of antiques, crockery and cutlery of Mrs. Dorling.

Q5. Do you think that cold behavior of Mrs. Dorling towards the narrator is right?

Ans. No, cold ,inhuman ,unfriendly behavior of Mrs. Dorling can not be justified . The narrator reminded her that she was the daughter of Mrs. S . She refused to recognize her . She regretted that she could do nothing for her and denied to talk to her.

Q6.How did the narrator feel when she was ‘ in the midst of things’ in Mrs. Dorling’s house?

Ans. Nice things belonged to her dead mother---arranged things like silver cutlery, antiques plates, large vases and table clothes in a ‘tasteless manner’ ----aroused nostalgic feelings in her---- not long to possess them as useless now.

Q7. Why did the narrator resolve to forget the address : 46 Marconi Street ?

Ans. Came to Mrs. Dorling’s house to collect the belongings of her mother--- aroused nostalgic feelings ---- pained to see unfriendly and inhuman attitude of Mrs. Dorling ----true owner was no more in the world----resolved to forget uncharitable Mrs. Dorling and tragic past.


Q1. The story ‘The Address’ is divided into Pre-War and Post War times. What hardships do you think the girl underwent during these times?

Main Points

Ans. War always brings miseries, death and destruction----in Holland war affected the fortunes of people badly----Mrs. S and her little daughter had to migrate from their town to a safer place---mother died.

Her mother handed over all her valuables and ‘nice things’ to Mrs. Dorling ---- assured that keep her things in safe hands---the narrator was not convinced ---selfish and greedy Mrs. Dorling took all things silver cutlery, antique plates to 46 Marconi Street.

War ended—normalcy spread ---went twice in search of her belongings ---- face indifferent behavior of Mrs. Dorling----real owner died and resolved to forget ‘nice things’(useless) forever.


Q1 .’The Address’ is a story of human predicament that follows war. Comment

Q2. Why did the narrator say that forgetting Mrs. Dorling’s address would be easy?

Q3. Justify the title of the story ‘The Address’

Q4. What were the narrator’s feelings initially about the things that had been left with Mrs. Dorling?

Q5. How was Mrs. Dorling taking care of the antiques and other things she had taken from Mrs. S.?


Q.1. Describe both the visits of the narrator to 46 ,Marconi Street. Describe the difference.

Q2. Mrs. Dorling was a cunning , crafty and ill mannered lady . Elaborate the statement.


Rnaga , the accountant’s son , is one of the rare breed among the village folk who has been to Bangalore to learn English .His homecoming to Hosahalli village from the city is a great event , the crowds around his house to see whether he has changed or not.The narrator arranged their meeting with help of Shastri—a village astrologer.


Shyama, the narrator of the story , belongs to Hosahalli village in the erstwhile Mysore state in South India .The village had some mango trees , creepers and a pond and people are simple. Very few people could speak and understand English . Almost all of them spoke Kannada .

The narrator calls English a ‘priceless commodity’. The village accountant was the only one who sends Ranga to Bangalore to study .

Ranga’s homecoming was a great event .Everyone wanted to have a look of the young man who received English education.

The people of Hosahalli were curious to see Ranga , they rushed to have a look of him. Ranga was the same as he had been six months ago , a woman said ,’Janewara is still there’ .

The narrator asked Ranga when he was going to be married .Ranga had no plan of marrying in near future. He thought that Ranga would prove a good husband for Ratna . She was the best bride for Ranga.

One day the narrator asked Ratna to sing a song .Ranga heard her melodious and mesmerizing song . She stopped singing abruptly when he saw a stranger .

Ranga asked the narrator about the girl . The narrator told a lie that she was married a year ago .

He planned with Shastri how to help Ranga to marry Ratna. Ranga told Shastri that the cause of worry of Ranga was a girl. The girl could be Kamla or Ratna.

Shastri declared that their negotiation for Ranga’s marriage with Ratna would bear fruit.At last ,Ranga and Ratna became life-partners.

Ranga came to invite the narrator for dinner on his son, Shyama’s birthday. Ranga had named his son Shyama. He wanted to honour the narrator who was also called by the same name.


Q1. ‘English was not so widespread in Hosahalli’ Elaborate statement.

Ans. The narrator called English a ‘priceless commodity’ . The craze of the people to see Ranga when he returned from Bangalore , proves this point.They had great respect for a person who knew English . Rama Rao told the woman selling firewood that he had no ‘ change’ .She could not understand the meaning of even such a simple English word.

Q2. What were Ranga’s ideas about marriage ? Do you find any change in them at the end of the story ?

Ans. Ranga believed in marrying only when one got physically and mentally matured . He would marry a mature girl otherwise he would remain a bachelor. He did not believe in ‘arranged marriages’. A change took place in his attitude for marriage at the last of story. He was fascinated by the beauty of Ratna and finally got married with her.

Q3. Narrate Rama Rao’s niece, Ratna

Ans. Ratna was the pretty and disciplined girl of eleven. She had to stay with her uncle because her parents died. She knew how to play the musical instruments like ‘veena’ and ‘harmonium’ . Her voice was sweet , melodious and mesmerizing. She was the perfect match for Ranga.

Q4. Why did the narrator ask Ranga to accompany him to see Shastri?

Ans. The narrator wished that Ranga should get married to Ratna. He took him to see Shastri . He asked Shastri what worried Ranga much. Shastri was already tutored by the narrator .At last he named Kamla or Ratna.

Q5. How did Rangappa honor the narrator and why?

Ans. Ranga was grateful to the narrator who made all efforts for his marriage. He did not forget to invite him on the birthday of his son .He honored thenarator when he named his ‘golden child’ Shyama after the name of the narrator.

Q6. What image do you form of the narrator?

Ans. The narrator was a thorough gentleman , practical and helpful. He is instrumental in arranging the marriage of Ranga and Ratna. He belongs to Hosahalli and proud of his village .He knows how to exploit the situation to his advantage .

Q1. The narrator made up his mind that he would get Ranga married to Ratna . How did he accomplish his mission?

Ans. The narrator impressed by the ideas and character of Rnagappa-----mannered ,touched his feet and wished him ‘namaskara’ ----blessed him ----distressed when he received indifferent mindset of Ranga----married to a matured girl and not believed in arranged marriage.

Arranged a meeting of Ranga and Ratna at one place----Ratna ,a pretty niece of Rama Rao---- knew how to play ‘veena’ and ‘harmonium’----impressed Ranga and her voice was mesmerizing and fascinating -----pained when he came to know that she was married a year ago.

Convinced Ranga to accompany him to Shastri ----tutored Shastri to influence Ranga’s decision----revealed that a girl was the cause of Ranga’s all worries----the narrator was successful in bringing them together and making them life-partners.


Q1. Why was Ranga’s homecoming such an important event?

Q2. Why did the narrator make up his mind to get Ranga married?

Q3. How did Ratna behave when she saw Ranga for the first time ?

Q4. Describe the role of Shastri in Ranga’s marriage?

Q5.Do you agree with Ranga’s views about marriage ? Give a reasoned answer?

Q6. Why was the narrator was invited by Rangappa?


Q1. Describe the first meeting of Ranga and Ratna . What effect did the meeting have on both of them ?

Q2 .The story ‘Ranga’s Marriage’ does not present the changing face of the Indian villages. It is set in a world that existed only in the last century . Justify.



Albert Einstein is a regarded as the greatest physicist , Patrick Pringle describes the circumstances which led to Albert Einstein’s expulsion from a German school. The chapter also exposes the hollowness of the school education. There was no emphasis on free thinking and new ideas in school education.

About The Lesson

  • The lesson describes a bitter experience of the great scientist ,Albert Einstein at school and also exposes the hollowness of education system in Germany.

  • Albert’s class was on ,Mr.Braun , the history teacher asked Albert when the Prussians defeated the French at Waterloo. Albert told that he did not know .Albert told him that he saw no point in learning dates . These could be seen in books .

  • According to Albet , education should be based not on facts but on ideas . He said that one could get these facts from books . He was more interested in knowing why soldiers killed other soldiers in war.

  • The teacher was furious , he declared that Einstein was a disgrace to the school. He loved music and reading books on science but he was not interested in the books prescribed in the syllabus.

  • Albert did not feel at ease at school .He decided to get rid of his school by producing a false certificate from a doctor .The doctor would verify that he suffered form nervous breakdown.

  • Yuri, his friend took him to Dr. Weil who issued him a certificate free of charge .Albert was really nervous.

  • Yuri also advised Einstein to get a reference in writing from his Maths teacher ,Mr. Koch. He planed to get admission at Milan.

  • Einstein was summoned by the Head Teacher and told him that he wanted him to leave the school .The Head Teacher also told him that his presence in the class made it impossible for the teacher to teach other students.

The Head Teacher asked him to close the door behind him but Albert did not. He was completely disillusioned and he did not have even a last look at his school.


Q1. According to Albert ,What should education be all about?

Ans. His History teacher’s views were outdated and conventional. He told vehemently that education should be based not on facts but on ideas. He said that one could get these ideas from books . He was more interested in knowing why soldiers killed other soldiers in war not in numbers.

Q2. What advice did Elsa give to Albert regarding passing the examination ?

Ans. Elsa , the cousin of Albert advised him that she knew many boys who were more dull and stupid than Albert. If they could get through the exam easily , he was more intelligent than them. However, he should also try and pass the examination.

Q3. What was the plan of Albert Einstein to get rid of his school?

Ans. Einstein was uncomfortable at school after his confrontation with his History Teacher .He decided to get rid of his school by producing a false certificate from a doctor . He was to certify that he suffered from nervous breakdown .

Q4. How did Albert hope to get into an Italian college at Milan?

Ans. Mr. Koch , his Mathematics teacher was impressed with his intelligence and abilities and he issued him a reference in writing. He wrote that Einstein had learnt all the math taught at school. This reference would help him to get admission in college at Milan.

Q5.What did the head teacher tell Albert when he met him?

Ans. The head teacher summoned him and told that he had become a nuisance for teachers and disgrace to the institution . He insulted him and wanted him to leave the school immediately.

Q6. How did Einstein react to the Head Teacher?

Ans. Einstein wanted to reveal his thoughts about the school and the head teacher. He did not say even a single word . His silence showed his resentment and dislike for the school .He did not shut the door and ignored his order.


Q1. Describe how the head teacher made it easy for Albert to leave school?

Main Points

Ans. Dr. Ernest Weil issued a medical certificate----suffered from nervous breakdown----stay away from school----summoned him to report to head teacher----disgrace to institution and should be expelled ----made uneasy environment for teachers in class---created nuisance and disturbed others--- medical certificate not required

Intended to reveal what he thought of him and the school---but kept silent --- told him to close the door behind him but he ignored it----not looked back at school .


Q1. What punishment did Einstein get from the history teacher for not answering the question correctly?

Q2. What method was suggested to Einstein by Elsa to pass a school examination?

Q3. What testimonial did Mr. Koch , the Maths teacher ,give to Einstein ?

Q4. What impression did Einstein form of his educational institution?

Q5. Describe the whimsical behaviour of the landlady?

Q6. How did the head teacher behave when Albert went to see him?


Q1. Describe the exchanges between Albert Einstein and his history teacher .What light does it throw on the character of Einstein ?

Q2. How did Yuri help Einstein ? Describe his role in Einstein’s life.


About the author: John Boynton Priestley, (13 September 1894 – 14 August 1984), known as J. B. Priestley, was an English novelist, playwright and broadcaster.

His Yorkshire background is reflected in much of his fiction, notably in The Good Companions (1929), which first brought him to wide public notice. Many of his plays are structured around a time-slip, and he went on to develop a new theory of time, with different dimensions that link past, present and future.

Theme: The play “Mother’s Day” is about a mother who is loving and docile. She pampers her family members and busies herself fulfilling their never ending demands. But she is taken for granted by her family. With the help of a domineering friend, she is able to establish her real stature in the family. The play raises a very poignant social issue of housewives, being taken for granted .Family members become indifferent to their needs and treat them as non- existent beings and they are completely immune to their feelings. She gets no respite and gratitude for all that she does. The day, she refuses to attend to them, they are outraged. The play seeks to question the stereotypes, shake the social pillars and thereby calls for a reconstruction of social image of a housewife.

Summary: The job of a mother in a family is actually a twenty four hour job and the mother does not have the luxury of even enjoying any weekend, any holiday.

The popular conception is that those who are in service have to work hard. The mother who strays at home has a leisurely life.

The other members in the family always take the work that the mother does at home for granted and gives no credit for what she does.

The children in a family go on to believe that the job of the mother is to keep herself in the beck and call of her children and so is the thinking of the husband of the family towards his wife.

The mother needs to be harsh and assertive every now and then with her children and husband, reminding them that the work she does is a round the clock work and is valued much more than theirs.

If the mother of the family turns out to be soft with her attitude towards her children and husband, then the children are bound to be led astray and become spoilt as is the case with Cyril and Doris Pearson.

The daughter Doris leaves home as soon as she is back from work to be with her boyfriend, Charley Spence. Same is the case with Cyril who comes back home to have tea and snacks and again leaves immediately to spend his money on greyhound races. Not only the children but also their father is oblivious to the ordeals of his wife. He leaves her alone every evening to be with his friends at the club.

When Mrs. Pearson hesitantly tells her plight to Mrs. Fitzgerald, she promises to help Mrs. Pearson out of this door mat like situation. They exchange their personalities and decide to teach the family a lesson. The family is shocked to see the changed behaviour of the lady of the house. Before going back to her real body, Mrs. Fitzgerald warns Mrs. Pearson not to go soft on her family or else their labour will go in vain.

Always a little bit of caution, cold looks, strong words and body language from the mother help the atmosphere of the family remain in good order and its health wholesome.

Short Answer Questions:

  1. What is Mrs. Pearson’s opinion about Charley Spence?

Ans : Mrs. Pearson opines that Charile Spence is buck-toothed and half-witted and she would not like to be seen dead with a fellow like Charlie Spence.

  1. What is Doriss’ idea regarding her mother’s strange behaviour ?

Ans: Doris suggested to her brother Cyril that their mother could have hit her head against something and got a concussion and therefore she behaved in a strange way.

  1. What does Mrs. Pearson tell George Pearson about people’s conception regarding him at the Club?

Ans : Mrs. Person, who is actually Mrs. Fitzgerald, tells her husnamd that he is a standing joke for the other club members and they call him Pompy-ompy Pearson as they think he is very slow and pompous.

4. What is Cyril’s prime fault as expressed by Mrs. Pearson?

Ans: According to Mrs. pearson, Cyril spends too much time and money at greyhound races , dirt tracks and ice shows.

5. What is Mrs. Fitzgerald’s suggestion to Mrs. Pearson as to how she could maintain that atmosphere of discipline and realization that she created?

Ans: Mrs. Fitzgerald suggested that Mrs. Pearson was not to start any explaining or apologizing or it would spoil the good work that was done. She was asked to just give her children and husband a look, or a tone of voice off and went on to suggest that she needs be tough with them if she wanted to be treated with dignity.

Long Answer Question :

  1. What are the issues that the play, ‘Mother’s Day’ highlights?

Ans : ( Sample answer)

The play Mother’s Day basically highlights the real aspects related to the status of the mother in a family. In most families the mother is a housewife who stays at home while the father and in some cases the children go out to work. The popular concept is that only those who are in job have to work hard and therefore they need weekends and holidays for taking rest and after coming from work they need to be waited upon by the mother who is seen as living a life of leisure.The reality is that the job of mother in a family is a twenty four hour job for which she cannot have the luxury of even enjoying any weekend and holidays. That is the case with Mrs. Pearson in this play. Her two grown- up children, Cyril and Doris Pearson and her husband George Pearson always take the work that Mrs. Pearson does at home for granted and give absolutely no credit to her for that and they want her to be at their beck and call. It is Mrs. Pearson whose love , care , concern ,soft attitude and lack of assertion towards the members of her family that has created trouble for her and has spolit them perfectly.

The mother needs to be harsh and assertive every now and then with her children and husband, reminding them that the work she does is a round the clock work and is to be valued much more than theirs. If the mother of the family turns out to be too soft with her attitude towards her c hildren and husband, then the children are bound too be led astray and spoilt as is the case with Cyril and Doris Pearson. Ultimately Mrs. Fitzgerald’s idea of changing personalities brings reform to the errant family members.

  1. How does Mrs. Pearson reform her spoiled family members?

Ans: Value points :-

  • Mrs. Fitzgerald is Mrs. Pearson’s neighbour.

  • She is domineering, practical, quite opposite to the character of Mrs. Pearson.

  • Mrs. Pearson is soft, unassertive,too fond of her children and husband.

  • She knows about their mistakes but cannot be harsh with them.

  • Mrs.Fitzgerald compels her friend to agree to change body with her magic to straighten her family members.

  • So they change bodies.

  • Mrs. Pearson first takes on her daughter Doris whom she scolds for her erratic behaviour.

  • Next she takes on her son Cyril whom she scolds scathinghly for preparing to go out for late night parties.

  • Finally, she blames her husband who has acquired a very bad name in his club where he spends most of his time.

  • Mrs. Pearson’s behaviour is puzzling for the three confused family members.

  • The three ultimately are made to recognize Mrs.Pearson’s actual status in her home.

  • They promise to reform themselves.

  • Mrs. Pearson and Mrs. Fitzgerald change back their bodies.

  1. Make character sketches of Doris Cyril and georage Pearson.

Ans: Value points:

  • Doris is perfectly spoilt /wants to be waited upon by her mother/takes no permission for going out with her boyfriend who according to her mother is worthless/weeps in every possible opportunity/highly immature.

  • Cyril is equally pampered and immature / wants to be waited upon by his mother / engrossed in outdoor life / late night partying and betting on horse racing.

  • George Pearson is haughty, pompous, arrogant and uncivil/ careless of domestic duties/ unconcerned about his wife’s wishes and pain/engrossed in an outdoor life/ spends his time in the club where he has got a bad impression unknown to him/ultimately is brought to the reality of his actual social situation.

  1. What is magic Realism ? How has the dramatist used the device of magic Realism in making the plot of the play believable for the reader?

Ans : Value points:

Magic realism is a modern method used in fiction where magical elements are intermixed with the realistic description of everyday affair in such a way that the magical elements are taken as realisitic description which help in emphasizing somes basic issues where the write wants to focus.

Popularized by writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdle, Milan Kundera etc.

In this play, Mrs. Fitzgerald changes her body with Mrs. Pearson, something which is impossible in real life.

However, the reader does not object to this fantastic aspect in the plot because this element has been used in such a way in the plot that the reader overlooks the impossibility as his real focus is the issue raised in the play which is highlighted by the dramatist.

  1. Discuss some of the humourous situations of the play.

Ans :- value point

  • First is the scene where Doris is scolded for preparing to go out with Charley Spence.

  • Mrs. Pearson’s comments on Charley Spence and Doris reaction to them/ her weeping

  • Doris and Cyril’s discussion between them as to the possible cause of her mother’s strange behaviour

  • The scene where Mr.Person finds his wife drinking wine for the first time in his life and Mrs. Pearson’s answers to his questions.

  • Mrs. Pearson’s comments about what others think about George in the club and George’s reaction to them.

  • Mrs. Pearson’s threatening to beat up her hausband as reaction to her husband’s uncivil behaviour Mrs. Fitzgerald.

Questions for practice:

Short Questions:

  1. Justify the title of the play.

  2. How do Cyril and Doris justify their behaviour?

  3. What does Mrs. Pearson say to Cyril that shocks him?

  4. What according to Mrs. Pearson were her plans for the weekends?

  5. Why was George Pearson surprised when he came home? What was the answer that he got?

  6. What was Mrs. Fitzgerald’s advice to Mrs. Pearson after she had taught the family members a lesson for life?

Long Questions :

  1. Do the two youths in the story exemplify typical youths of their age group? Or they have much more individuality?

  2. What is the universal appeal of the play?

  3. What are the aspects of European society that the play mirrors?

  4. “Sometimes it does people good to have their feelings hurt.” Who says this and what does she say to hurt Mr. Pearson?

  5. “Mrs. Fitzgerald’s effort does not go in vain, as the family changes for better.” Justify.



About the author: Archibald Joseph Cronin, MB, MD, DPH, MRCP (19 July 1896 – 6 January 1981) was a Scottish novelist and physician. His best-known novel was The Citadel, about a doctor in a Welsh mining village who quickly moves up the career ladder in London. Cronin had observed this scene closely as a Medical Inspector of Mines and later as a doctor in Harley Street. This book promoted controversial new ideas about medical ethics which largely inspired the launch of the National Health Service. Another popular mining novel, set in the North-east, was The Stars Look Down. His novella Country Doctor was adapted for a long-running BBC radio and TV series Dr. Finlay's Casebook, revived many years later. “Birth” is an excerpt from The Citadel penned by the author.

Theme: People’s sense of responsibility towards work.

A doctor’s sense of duty, dedication, and humanistic approach towards his patients.

The supreme joy motherhood.

The real sense of fulfullment, satisfaction, peace and joy that a good deed brings to human mind.

The real work of a doctor’s life lies in bringing joy to other people’s life.

The tremendous sense of expectation and anxiety that is caused in other family member’s heart when a baby is on the way.

The technical aspects of the resuscitation method as regards a new-born. Summary: Andrew Manson, a graduate from a medical school, has just started his medical practice. He finds his job very monotonous and treats it as ‘just another job’. One day he comes back home around midnight after spending a disappointing evening with his girlfriend, Christine. Joe Morgan meets him outside his house and requests the doctor to accompany him home where his wife, who is expecting a baby after twenty years of marriage, requires medical help. Andrew also meets Joe’s mother who is equally anxious for the safe delivery of her daughter-in law, Susan Morgan.

After a lot of effort the baby is delivered still- born. The doctor is in a dilemma whether to attend to the new born or the collapsing mother. After attending to the mother first, he shifts his attention completely to the baby.

After examining the baby he diagnoses the boy to be in a state medically called- Asphyxia Pallida . He asks the midwife to fetch two basins- one filled with hot water and the other with cold water. He juggles the baby between these two basins for fifteen minutes but all in vain. Then he resorts to rubbing the child with a rough towel, crushing and releasing the little chest with both hands, trying to get breath into the limp body and miraculously it worked.

Andrew walks back home tired but eternally relieved at having “done something real at last”.

Short Questions Answers:

  1. What was the dilemma that Andrew faced after the baby was born ?

Ans : After the baby was born, Andrew was faced with the dilemma whether to attend to the baby which was still- born or turn his attention to the mother, Susan Morgan, who was in a desperate state of health because of loss of blood and labour pain.

  1. Why was Jo and Susan Morgan’s case special for Andrew?

Ans: Jo and Susan Morgan’s case was special for Andrew becuse Joe and Susan were expecting their first child twenty years after marriage. They wanted the baby desperately.

  1. What was Susan Morgan’s suggestion to Andrew which she informed through her mother-in-law?

Ans : Susan Morgan wished that she was not to be given chlorofrom if it would harm the baby. She was ready to bear all pain but was apprehensive of taking anesthesia.

  1. What according to Andrew could be the cause of the baby being still born?

Ans : Andrew found out that the baby had turned white and it could mean only one thing:asphyxia which is suffocation or unconscious condition caused by lack of oxygen and excess of carbon diaoxide in the blood, accompained by paleness of the skin weak pulse , and loss of reflexes.

  1. What is your impression about Dr. Andrew as a doctor and a human being?

Ans: The story ‘Birth’ is a comment on what a doctor should really be as a doctor and a human being. Dr. Andrew is an exceptionally dutiful and kind and passionate human being. Not only he sets aside mental and bodily fatigue to visit Joe Morgan’s house dead at night, but also he almost rebels against nature’s laws to keep trying to bring breath back to the still born baby wherein he succeeds.

Long Answer Questions:

  1. Describe the efforts that Andrew made in order to bring the still born baby back to life.

Ans: ( sample answer)

After pulling the still born baby out from beneath the bed, Andrew could guess why the baby has lost its breath. The cause was asphyxia which is a condition in which insufficient oxygen and excess carbon dioxide in the blood. Therefore, he realized that three was point in trying to resuscitate the baby with the help of the traditional resuscitation methods applied in such cases. Thus he poured hot and cold water in two basins and frantically went on juggling the baby between the basins alternately for almost half an hour. But no breath emerged from the baby and a sense of desperation and defeat set in his mind. Still he wanted to put in another last effort.So this time, he rubbed the baby with a rough towel and then he crushed and released the little chest with both his hands, trying to get breath into that lax body. And after this, the miracle happened and the tiny chest of the baby gave a heave and then another and then another and Andrew was victorious as the baby was finally revived.

  1. Why was Andrew so emotionally attached to his efforts to bring the lifeless baby back to life?

Ans : Value points:-

  • Joe Morgan and Susan Morgan were expecting the birth of their first baby.

  • They were married for twenty years.

  • It was Dr. Andrew handling the case.

  • Andrew had assured the couple of no complication and safe delivery of the baby.

  • All in Morgan family were anxious.

  • Susan Morgan feels a labour pain before due date.

  • Susan’s mother –in –law inform Andrew about Susan’s wish to go through labour pain without anesthesia in case the same would hurt ther baby.

  • Andrew goes on with anesthesia

  • A still baby is born

  • Remembers Joe’s trusting words-… you would do good for us, Susan’s request not to give anesthesia if it would harm the baby, anxious looks on Joe’s mother’s face

  • Andrew has to do something to revive the baby because he had held a promise.

  1. Why does Andrew comment that he had done something ‘real at last’ in Blaenelly?

Ans: Value points:

  • Andrew Manson is a young doctor just out of medical school.

  • The place where he works is a small mining town named Blaenelly.

  • He had been handing the case of Joe and Susan Morgan who were expecting their first child after twenty years of marriage.

  • Andrew had assured the couple of no complication and safe delivery of the baby.

  • He visits Joe Morgan’s house dead at night as Susan Morgan has premature labour pain

  • In an atmosphere of anxiety and expectation, he works for the safe delivery of the baby

  • A lifeless baby is born and Susan is on the verge of death too

  • Andrew is crushed

  • He first helps Susan- her condition improves.

  • Then he works massively for resuscitating the breathless baby.

  • After half an hour’s harsh struggle, the baby breaths.

  • At last Andrew can be true to the promise he had held.

  • Saving the lives of two people and guranteeing joy to a whole family is thus something real.

Questions for Practice:

Short Answer Questions:

  1. What is Dr. Andrew’s concept about women? What led him to think that way?

  2. What was the expression and attitude of the mid wife/nurse towards what Dr. Andrew was doing?

  3. What is the setting of the story ? (time and place where it is set)

  4. Bring out the atmosphere of expectation and anxiety in the mind of the Morgan family members.

  5. Why did the baby lose its breath?

Long Answer Questions:

  1. Compare and contrast Dr. Andrew’s contrasting emotional status at the beginning of the story and in the end.

  2. What does the story highlight about the essence of true happiness and joy and sense of fulfillment through Dr. Andrew’s experience.

  3. Andrew’s visit to the Morgan’s gave him pleasure and satisfaction that he had never achieved before. Justify.

Value Based Questions:

  1. Do you feel that modern day doctors are rather mechanical medical machines without human emotions?Or it is rather a prejudiced opinion about these professionals who are also considered human gods?

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